Guide to Visiting the Philippines in October: Weather, Where to Go, Festivals

Guide to Visiting the Philippines in October: Weather, Where to Go, Festivals

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A vinta in Zamboanga and the MassKara FestivalThe Philippines continues to be a top beach destination around the world, thanks to its stunning coastlines and tropical weather. Although the best time to visit the Philippines is during the dry months from the end of November to May, there is still a wide array of things to do and places to see across the country, even during rainy months that usually last until October.

Many international travelers, especially those from colder countries, even prefer to visit the Philippines in October since the temperature typically stays comfortably above 25°C during this month. Visiting in October also means that you can score lower hotel rates and discounted tours. There are also fewer crowds during this time, as October is still part of the lean season when it comes to local tourism.  

Among the best places you can visit during this month are Siargao, Cagayan de Oro, Palawan, Boracay, and Bohol. You can also try popular activities like exploring beautiful Philippine beaches, surfing, whitewater rafting, scuba diving, and participating in October celebrations like the annual MassKara festival.

Philippines Weather in October 

October weather in the Philippines typically sees intermittent rains, especially in the northern region of the country, which is more prone to typhoons. To make the most of your October vacation, it’s best to have a flexible itinerary in case the weather leads to flight delays and cancellations of other activities.

Is October rainy season in the Philippines?

Yes, since the rainy season starts in June and ends in around November. In October, there is also a chance of typhoons, so it's recommended to keep an eye on local weather updates throughout your vacation in the Philippines. 

Philippines Temperature in October

Beach in Coron, PalawanIn the Philippines, the typical temperature range in October is between 25°C to 32°C (77°F to 90°F). However, the actual temperatures can vary slightly depending on which destination you’ll be visiting, as those in the highlands like Baguio generally enjoy cooler weather while islands in the southern region experience higher temperatures.

What to Wear when Visiting the Philippines in October?

When planning a trip to the Philippines in October, be sure to include a waterproof jacket in your packing list for quick rain protection. Additionally, it's good to choose water-resistant sneakers or boots as your footwear, as they're easier to clean and will keep your feet dry. 

Where to Go in the Philippines and Best Activities in October

Kayangan Lake in CoronWhile October may not be the dry summer season in the Philippines, there are still a variety of activities and experiences to try during this month. The country's beaches are typically less crowded, and activities like surfing and whitewater rafting are well-suited for the October weather in the Philippines.

Explore heritage sites in Bacolod and join the MassKara Festival

The Ruins, Talisay CityKnown as the City of Smiles, Bacolod remains a welcome destination for many travelers all year round. October is a great time to visit the city as this is when the annual MassKara Festival is held. During this celebration, you can expect lively dances on the street with performers wearing a variety of big and vibrant masks. 

Along with joining this festival, you can check out popular heritage Bacolod tourist spots in and around the city, such as the famed The Ruins, an ancestral house in Talisay City known for its architecture. You can also visit San Sebastian Cathedral and the Provincial Capitol and Lagoon to delve deeper into Bacolod’s heritage when you join Bacolod tours

Ride a vinta at Zamboanga 

A vinta in ZamboangaAs an emerging destination, Zamboanga offers a colorful adventure for travelers interested in exploring the Mindanao region. During a Zamboanga tour, it’s highly recommended to ride a vinta across the nearby waters to get a feel of the local culture. A vinta is a traditional outrigger boat equipped with colorful patterned sails, often handsewn by indigenous groups such as the Sama-Bajau, Tausug, and Yakan peoples as part of their rich heritage. 

October also marks the celebration of the Hermosa Festival, which is best known for the fluvial racing contest where you can witness thousands of vintas sail across the coast.

Relax at Camiguin Island hot springs 

Ardent Hot Spring, CamiguinAs an island with seven volcanoes, Camiguin features various hot springs that offer a soothing escape for travelers. Among them, the most popular one is the Ardent Hot Spring, which sits at the base of Mount Hibok-Hibok, one of the active volcanoes in the Philippines and a top Camiguin tourist spot

This spring has six pools located at different levels and is filled with water that ranges from 33°C to 40°C. As the water cascades from the topmost pool, it gradually cools down so you can choose which level of heat you prefer. Apart from relaxing in hot springs, visitors can witness the Lanzones Festival on the 3rd week of October or go on other Camiguin tours to see more of the island. 

Surfing in Siargao 

Surfers in SiargaoSiargao remains an ideal tropical destination throughout the year as it enjoys consistent swells, especially during the rainy season when winds are stronger. September is also the start of the surfing season, so visiting Siargao in October means you can expect constant waves at places like Cloud 9, one of the best surfing spots in the Philippines and a top Mindanao tourist spot

While the island is also known as the Surfing Capital of the Philippines, there are still a lot of things to do here apart from riding the waves, like going on Siargao tours. For a stress-free adventure to the top Siargao tourist spots, you can opt for Siargao tour packages that come with accommodations as well. 

Visit Boracay’s white sand beaches

Paraws along Boracay's White BeachAnother popular beach destination you can enjoy in October is Boracay, renowned for being home to the best white sand beaches in the Philippines. Visiting Boracay in October also means there are smaller crowds at must-visit places like White Beach, one of the best Visayas tourist spots.

You can also take advantage of the smaller crowds by going on Boracay island-hopping tours to visit more white-sand beaches around Boracay. You can also book Boracay tour packages that come with Boracay hotels, transfers, and even Boracay tours for a stress-free trip here.

Island hopping in Palawan 

Pinagbuyutan Island in El NidoPalawan is famous worldwide for being home to some of the most beautiful islands in the Philippines. Palawan in October remains a worthwhile island-hopping destination in the country thanks to its location, which isn’t often affected by typhoons. The best places to go on island-hopping tours in Palawan include El Nido, Coron, Puerto Princesa, and San Vicente, which all offer various excursions to the various gems nestled across the island province.

If you're looking to take a dip in captivating lagoons, we recommend going on El Nido island hopping tours. Meanwhile, Coron island hopping tours will take you to serene lakes and fascinating shipwreck dive sites. Then, in Puerto Princesa, you can join Honda Bay island-hopping tours to visit pristine islands and spotless sandbars. Aside from island hopping, you can also explore the Puerto Princesa Underground River and spend some time on San Vicente’s Long Beach. 

Enjoy the cool weather at Baguio City

Mines View Park in BaguioWhile October is part of the rainy season, the Philippines still enjoy warm temperatures all year round, which is why Baguio remains a popular getaway spot for many, no matter the season. Nestled in the Luzon highlands, Baguio enjoys a cooler climate than most of the country, especially in the latter part of the year when the temperature can go as low as 15 °C. 

Baguio has also been named a UNESCO Creative City, thanks to its rich arts and culture. You can immerse in the city's vibrant heritage by going on Baguio tours that include stops at Baguio tourist spots like the Tam-Awan Village and BenCab Museum. 

Countryside Tour in Bohol

Chocolate Hills, BoholBohol boasts lush outdoors comprised of forests, rivers, and the famous Chocolate Hills, which make it a great spot for inland tours. Among the best things to do in Bohol is to go on a countryside tour, which will take you to top Bohol tourist spots like the Tarsier Sanctuary, Bilar Forest, and the Chocolate Hills view deck. 

Many Bohol tours also include a Loboc River cruise lunch, so you can feast on local delicacies while drifting down the river and enjoying the scenery. 

Explore Cebu’s beaches and outdoor activities 

Mantayupan Falls, CebuWhile Cebu in October sees intermittent rains, it is still a great place to explore, thanks to the many outdoor activities you can try here. When the weather’s clear, going on a Cebu canyoneering tour is a must-try, as it allows you to visit breathtaking waterfalls as well. 

Meanwhile, those interested in marine life should definitely consider Moalboal island-hopping tours to witness the local sardine run and Oslob whale shark-watching tours, which are featured in most Cebu tour packages and Cebu day tours

Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de Oro

Whitewater rafting in Cagayan de OroWhitewater rafting is one of the best extreme activities to try in the Philippines, especially during the rainy season, as the water levels in rivers are higher. In October, one of the best places to try this thrilling adventure is Cagayan de Oro, the whitewater rafting capital of the Philippines. 

During this must-try Cagayan De Oro tour activity, you’ll hop on a raft and navigate through several rapids using paddles. There’s also a chance of falling out of the raft, but it’s all part of the fun!  Additionally, whitewater rafting lets you immerse in the beauty of the Cagayan River, a top Cagayan de Oro tourist spot.

ATV in Mayon Volcano

Woman driving an ATV across a river in AlbayRain or shine, riding an ATV around Mayon Volcano in Legazpi City is a thrilling experience that all kinds of travelers can enjoy. As you make your way around this iconic Luzon tourist spot, you’ll ride across rough terrain, vast fields, and shallow rivers. 

You can also pass by lahar trails and enjoy scenic views of this picturesque volcano, depending on which Mayon Volcano tour or trail you take to the base of this famed Albay and Bicol tourist spot

October Festivals and Events in the Philippines 

MassKara Festival in BacolodOne of the best ways to immerse in the country’s diverse heritage is by joining cultural activities in the Philippines. During October, there are four lively celebrations or Philippine holidays that you can witness: the MassKara Festival, Hermosa Festival, Lanzones Festival, and Catandungan Festival.

MassKara Festival in Bacolod

This colorful fiesta dates back to the 1980s, when it was introduced as a way to lift the spirits of locals during a famine. It’s best known for the vibrant masks participants wear during the holiday events, such as the annual dance competition. The MassKara Festival has also become one of the most popular October celebrations in the Philippines. 

Zamboanga Hermosa Festival

This October festival in the Philippines celebrates the patron saint of Zamboanga and is popular for the annual fluvial race that takes place. During this competition, thousands of colorful vintas sail across the horizon. 

Lanzones Festival (Camiguin)

Held every 3rd week of October, this festival celebrates the harvest of lanzones, a sweet and round berry grown throughout the island. 

Catandungan Festival in Catanduanes

The locals of Catanduanes hold this festival annually to celebrate the province’s founder. During this fiesta, the locals host a surfing competition, beauty pageant, and more. 

Tips when Traveling to the Philippines in October

To make the most of your October vacation in the Philippines, take note of these travel tips: 

Bilar Manmade Forest, Bohol

Crowds in October

Since October falls within the Philippines' off-peak tourism season, popular destinations are likely to be less crowded compared to the bustling summer months. Although there's a possibility of rainfall, traveling in October allows you to appreciate top attractions with smaller crowds.

Driving in the Philippines in October 

Claiming car keys from a car rentalIf you choose to rent a car for your trip in the Philippines, keep in mind that the rain can make most roads more slippery and even cause landslides on some provincial roads. In certain regions, longer rainfall can lead to flooding on some roads, so it's recommended to check your route in advance using navigation apps like Google Maps and Waze.

It’s also better to opt for SUVs, vans, or crossovers when choosing between car rentals in the Philippines since they’re better at crossing shallow floods. 

Boat tours during rainy season in the Philippines can be canceled

For everyone’s safety, boat tour operators strictly follow the rules set by the Philippine Coast Guard and may cancel boat-related activities if the rain gets too strong. To guarantee that you can easily reschedule or refund your tour if it gets canceled by the resin or force majeure events, book tours with reputable travel agencies like Guide to the Philippines.

Prepare for power interruptions

Even though hotels have their own generators, it's better to be ready for potential power disruptions caused by heavy rains in October. It’s also highly recommended to pack a power bank or two with you so you can easily charge your devices if you ever have to deal with an unwanted power outage caused by strong rains. 

Prepare for travel delays

Delayed or canceled transfers are more common during months like October as the country experiences more rainfall. To avoid big disruptions in your schedule, it’s best to plan a flexible itinerary for your October trip to the Philippines. You can check out our guide on rainy-season activities in the Philippines. to find October activities in the Philippines that you can include in your plans. 

Recommended Philippines travel itineraries in October 

Abatan River, BoholMake the most of the smaller crowds during October by following tried-and-tested itineraries that include stops at top destinations like Palawan, Boracay, and Siargao. 

If you have 4 weeks to spare, consider a 1-month tour to Bohol, Cebu, Palawan, Boracay, Siargao, Baguio, and Ilocos. This itinerary is perfect for first-time visitors to the Philippines as you’ll visit each region and see iconic tourist attractions like the Chocolate Hills, Puerto Princesa Underground River, and more, all in one go. 

Meanwhile, this 21-day Palawan, Cebu,  Bohol, and Northern Luzon itinerary will take you to natural and historical sites across Visayas and Luzon while making sure to include stops at top beaches. You can also opt for this 2-weeks adventure across Palawan to visit the breathtaking beaches and lagoons nestled in Coron, El Nido, and Puerto Princesa

For those with only a week to spend in the country, it’s highly recommended to consider this 1-week getaway to Siargao, Cebu, and Boracay. This makes for a short yet sweet tropical vacation as you’ll go on an island-hopping adventure at each destination.

If you’re craving a more thrilling getaway, you can instead opt for this 7-day trip to Cagayan de Oro, Bukidnon, and Camiguin for a week of whitewater rafting, island hopping, and more. 

Finally, anyone curious about the rich heritage and vast outdoors of the Luzon highlands can go on this 8-day trip to Sagada, Banaue, and Baguio. This itinerary will take you to spelunking and trekking through places like Sumaguing Cave and the Batad Rice Terraces, a UNESCO World Heritage Site. 

Plan Your October Philippines Getaway Now

Twin Lagoon in CoronEnjoy a vacation in the Philippines with smaller crowds and cheaper fares by planning your visit for the month of October. When deciding on where to go in the Philippines for an October trip, you'll find a wide range of options, including the best beach destinations like Boracay and Palawan. 

For more tips on how to prepare for your Philippine getaway, read our Philippine travel guide. If you’re still deciding on when to plan your tropical vacation, check out our guide on visiting the Philippines in August and on where to go in the Philippines in September as well.
You can also book Philippine vacation packages that include flights, accommodations, and transfers for a hassle-free vacation put together by local experts.

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